A tool in hand is worth… nothing without proper PD

But, as we all know, these miraculous changes do not happen just because educators are given new devices. Unsupported change is no change at all.

Over the past three years, ISTE has collaborated with the Verizon Foundation to provide schools with support they need to make the transition to mobile learning. And, when this transformation is done effectively, the results are powerful.

Earlier this year, we released results of a study, conducted by ISTE in collaboration with the Verizon Foundation that looked at several schools across the country whose teachers were enrolled in the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) program, focusing on professional development and mobile integration in the classroom. Mentoring was at the heart of the program–ensuring the learning experience was job-embedded, relevant to the needs of the participants, and sustainable. ISTE worked with administrators and teachers to provide a professional development pathway that prepared them to facilitate, model, integrate, and apply educational technologies to support digital-age learning. For each school, the PD was individually tailored to address specific areas of improvement and consisted of on-site training, webinars, and one-on-one time with a tech coach.

The study revealed that standardized test scores in math for students participating in the VILS program increased by more than 4 percent over the previous year. Teachers participating in the program reported that 35 percent of their students showed higher scores on classroom assessments, 32 percent showed increased engagement in the classroom, and 63 percent demonstrated increased proficiency with mobile devices.

In the VILS program, professional development was provided for teachers and a designated technology coach. Taking what we learned with VILS to the next level, ISTE, in collaboration with the Verizon Foundation, launched the Verizon Mobile Learning Academy (VMLA), a free, virtual professional learning program developed to help school teams prepare for successfully integrating mobile technology into learning and teaching. VMLA guides participants to look at academic goals of their technology initiative and determine the role that technology can play in better realizing those goals.

(Next page: How you can get involved)

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at submissions@eschoolmedia.com.